Past Exhibitions

Emperors of China
January 26, 2016 - February 21, 2016

As part of the feature exhibition Imperial Treasures, this gallery displays works of painting and calligraphy associated with the emperors of China. The successive dynasties of imperial China acted as a political, social, and cultural model for Japan in times of old. Within this system, the emperors were seen as reigning over all aspects of the world, including those of painting and calligraphy, in which they held a deep interest. The emperors not only had enormous art collections and specially appointed court painters, but many were also painters and calligraphers in their own right. A prime example was Emperor Huizong (1082- 1135), Emperor of the late Northern Song dynasty, who was also known as Fengliu Tianzi (the "elegant Emperor") for his pursuit and patronage of the arts. One of the great treasures of the Chinese emperors on view here is an introduction to the collected writings of Huizong, which is handwritten in standard script calligraphy by his ninth son Emperor Gaozong of the Southern Song dynasty.

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